The pagan mythology of the Vikings offers a rich metaphor for consciousness. This book presents the cosmography of Norse mythology as a landscape of human inner life. Each of the nine worlds of this cosmography is viewed as a symbol of a distinct type of consciousness that is emblematic of a particular perspective or way of relating to others. Individual gods and goddesses are considered nuanced personifications of their worlds. The philosophy of pagan mythology is explored by comparing and contrasting the Sayings of Odin from the Norse Edda with the Christian Ten Commandments.
Table of Contents:
1. The Nature of Myth 11
2. Norse Mythology as Cynosure 27
3. The Lower World: Niflheim, Muspell and Hel 33
4. The Middle World: Midgaard, Svartalfheim and Jötunheim 53
5. The Upper World: Asgaard, Vanaheim and Alfheim 84
6. The Emerging Gestalt: Yggdrasil, Norns and Runes 116
7. The Wisdom of Odin 146
About the Author:
Edward W.L. Smith has published nine nonfiction books, more than 50 essays, a memoir, magazine articles, short stories, and a good bit of poetry. He is an emeritus professor of psychology, Georgia Southern University, and lives in Statesboro, Georgia.